A number of field studies towards the Environmental Impact Statements for the Gowrie to Kagaru sections of Inland Rail are now underway in Queensland, federal transport and infrastructure minister Darren Chester has confirmed.
“With Inland Rail progressing, it is important to get these ecology surveys underway to inform the design and broader environmental assessment of this Inland Rail section,” the minister said.
“The field studies and investigations will help identify and understand animal and plant species in the area including their habitat.
Ecology surveys will include the collection of spring and summer seasonal data concerning the flora and fauna of the area.
The data collected will help develop each of the three Environmental Impact Statements and feasibility designs for the projects that make up the Gowrie to Kagaru section of the project.
Gowrie to Helidon, Helidon to Calvert, and Calvert to Kagaru are the three sections identified to make up the Gowrie to Kagaru section, by the ARTC’s Inland Rail team.
Gowrie to Helidon includes 26 kilometres of new dual gauge track, a 6.4 kilometre tunnel, seven viaducts totalling 4.2 kilometres, six bridges totalling 520 metres, and three passing loops.
It will use the existing rail corridor and the Department of Transport and Main Roads’ Gowrie to Grandchester protected rail corridor.
Helidon to Calvert will be 47.7 kilometres of new dual gauge track, including a 1.1 kilometre tunnel, four viaducts totalling 1.5 kilometres, 20 bridges totalling 1 kilometre, six grade separations and four passing loops.
And the Calvert to Kagaru section includes roughly 54 kilometres of new dual gauge track, a 1.1 kilometre tunnel through the Teviot Range, 15 grade separations, 13 river-crossing bridges, and up to four passing loops.
It is to follow the protected Southern Freight Rail Corridor (SFRC), which links he West Moreton line near Calvert to the interstate rail line near Kagaru, north of Beaudesert.
Together the three sections are considered the most technically complex along the Inland Rail project, but they also contribute a large portion of the construction expenditure, a boon for Queensland, which will overall see 50% of all Inland Rail spending.
“Each EIS will include extensive consultation with the local community, landowners and other key stakeholders,” federal member for Wright, Scott Buchholz added.